April 21, 2014

Pennsylvania Dutch flannel cakes

Flannel cakes are a type of pancake that is special because the egg whites are beaten separately and folded into the batter resulting in a lighter and softer pancake. There's also no sugar in the batter, making these less sweet than a traditional pancake. I made these flannel cakes after finding them in one of my Pennsylvania Dutch cookbooks (pictured below). Since I was making an old-fashioned recipe, I decided to beat the egg whites by hand, which was great exercise for my arm. My slightly adapted recipe made about 14 flannel cakes. I served them with some frozen blueberries I cooked with a bit of water and honey along with some butter. Maple syrup would also be great.

These cookbooks came from our family - one from my grandmother and one from my husband's grandparents. They are full of old-time recipes from the Pennsylvania Dutch, who are the early German-speaking immigrants to Pennsylvania. This is where my grandfather's family is from (and probably why my grandmother had this cookbook). I love flipping through old cookbooks like these and finding recipes to try. You can bet I'll be making more soon.

Flannel cakes
2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
2 large eggs, separated
2 cups buttermilk
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled, plus more for griddle
fruit, maple syrup, etc. for serving
Whisk together the flour, baking soda, and salt in a large bowl and set aside.

Place the egg whites in a medium bowl and the egg yolks in a separate medium bowl. 

Using a whisk (or a hand mixer) beat the egg whites until they form stiff peaks. Set aside.

Whisk the egg yolks with the buttermilk and butter until well combined. Pour the mixture into the dry ingredients and stir until just combined. Gently fold in the stiff egg whites. 

Heat a griddle until hot and lightly grease with butter. Pour the batter onto the griddle using a 1/4 cup measuring cup. When the flannel cakes begin to bubble and turn golden, flip and cook until the other side is golden. Repeat until all batter is used. 

Serve hot topped with your choice of fruit, maple syrup, butter, etc. 

What was I cooking one year ago?: savory morel & goat cheese custards with wild ramp vinaigrette
Three years ago?: peanut chocolate chip cookies
Two?: roasted chicken with baby potatoes & tomatoes
4?: beef Pho


  1. These sound delicious! And, those cookbooks have great covers. How fun to cook from them!

  2. I love recipes with stories and these look wonderful. I bet there are some amazing meals with lots of history in those books. How fun for you. Love these pancakes, like the fact there is no sugar.

  3. Yum! These look so good...I love the idea of lighter and softer...delicious!
    Have a great week Amy :D

  4. I love your pancakes. great for a weekend breakfast!

  5. Hi Amy :-)
    I like your blog!
    Here's mine: http://golosedelizie.blogspot.it/ I hope you will like it!!

  6. I had no idea about flannel cakes v. regular pancakes! These definitely look extra fluffy from the whipped egg white!

  7. Wow these look awesome! So light and fluffy! I'd kill for a stack of 'em.

  8. I love making pancakes this way, they do turn out nice and light. I love the old cookbooks. My mom has given me some of her old cookbooks and they have some of the best recipes.

  9. I also have the book with the white cover and love it also since my Mom, Aunts, and grandmothers have passed and taken all of their great recipes with them. No one wrote them down.

  10. Great recipe! I'll bet these are incredibly light. Great technique -- thanks.

  11. a wonderful treat for breakfast and brunch....we can imagine how light and fluffy these pancakes must have been cause of whipped egg whites....a lovely post and beautiful food clicks as always....makes us hungry,thanks for sharing :-)

  12. i've heard of egg whites being fluffed and folded in, but i didn't know the result was called a flannel cake--how fun! these look great. :)

  13. Looking through old cookbooks (or new!) is one of my favorite, favorite things to do. These pancakes sound wonderful!

  14. I know I would enjoy these pancakes because I do like light, small and fluffy ones instead of the big, cakey ones. :)

  15. Gosh I had no idea what a flannel cake was albeit I had heard the term. I have done the beaten egg whites in a waffle recipe many times, but never in a pancake. I will have to try that out. Plus I just like the name 'flannel' cake. It sounds so cozy and perfect for winter.

  16. My Mom has a whole bunch of old recipe books like those - I haven't looked through them in a while - time to dust them off. The pancakes sound delectable topped with blueberries! Love the name too.

  17. yum! these make us want to go to an amusement park!

  18. Can't go wrong with pancakes; I like that they are called flannel cakes.

  19. Never knew why these were called flannel cakes. I've seen recipes with whipped egg whites but have never tried them. Thanks for letting us know!

  20. My goodness these pancakes look incredible! I never heard the name flannel cakes before but I bet they're super fluffy and light from the egg whites :)


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